Rules and ethics: Perspectives from anthropology and history
Rules and Ethics: Perspectives from anthropology and history edited by Morgan Clarke and Emily Corran
This book investigates the pronounced enthusiasm that many traditions display for codes of ethics characterised by a multitude of rules. Recent anthropological interest in ethics and historical explorations of 'self-fashioning' have led to extensive study of the virtuous self, but existing scholarship tends to pass over the kind of morality that involves legalistic reasoning. Rules and ethics corrects that omission by demonstrating the importance of rules in everyday moral life in a variety of contexts. In a nutshell, it argues that legalistic moral rules are not necessarily an obstruction to a rounded ethical self, but can be an integral part of it. An extended introduction first sets out the theoretical basis for studies of ethical systems that are characterised by detailed rules. This is followed by a series of empirical studies of rule-oriented moral traditions in a comparative perspective.